5:30 AM Friday Aug 23, 2013
There are many reasons for concern about the GCSB Bill that has just passed into law, but one we might not have expected is the extent to which the Prime Minister seems unaware of its true implications.
It must surely have come as a shock, even to his supporters, that John Key seems not to understand some of the basic principles of democratic government. In particular, he seemed to see no distinction between his own personal assurances and the law of the land.
The great principle of English common law is that no man, “be ye ever so high”, is above the law. The great Chief Justice Edmund Coke would have made short shrift of any pretension that a mere politician could decide what was and was not the law by his mere say-so.
Yet that is what our Prime Minister apparently presumes to do. In assurances given in a television interview, he asked citizens to accept his word as to his intentions concerning the new power to intercept our communications that the security service he heads was about to have conferred upon it.
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